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6 Ghanaians found guilty of fraud in London

BY: Graphic Online
From left to right: Allan, Jeffery and Marcus
From left to right: Allan, Jeffery and Marcus

Six Ghanaians based in London have been found guilty of fraud amounting to £1 million.

Three of them were last Thursday sentenced to a total of 23 years and 11 months in prison by the Southwark Crown Court for their part in the fraud.

The remaining three will be sentenced in the New Year, according to a report on the website of the City of London Police.

They are Marcus Carter, also known as Marcus Boahene-Coabbina, 38, Jeffrey Spencer, also known as Victor Templar-Quarshie, 35 and Frank Allan, also known as Frank Templar-Quarshie, 33.

The other three are Yaa Abrefa, 37, Abena Amankwaa Frempong, 34 and Craig Apaw, 29.

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The six are said to have created make-believe companies and applied for credit from well-known businesses, including American Express and Barclaycard.

Facts

Investigations by the City of London Police revealed that between June 2014 and February 2016, the convicts engaged in short firm fraud by using false documents to buy an inactive company name and appoint a fictitious director.

Once the company had been formally established, fake back-dated accounts were submitted to Companies House which gave the impression that they had a very successful trading history and represented a low credit risk.

They would then make applications to their chosen credit card companies, who after carrying out the necessary checks, were reassured by the false information and approved a line of credit; giving the convicts and their fraudulent companies access to a high credit limit. They then rapidly spent up to the limit, without making any repayments.

According to the Police, Abrefa, who is Carter’s ex-partner, aided him by allowing him to use her bank account and registering high-end designer watches, paid for with the proceeds, in her own name.

Amankwaa Frempong, who is also Carter’s ex-partner also bought goods in her name with the fraudulently obtained cards, which he then exported to Ghana.

Apaw is also said to have assisted Carter by collecting a £8,250 Rolex watch when Carter was in prison and passing it to Frempong, which she then pawned for cash.

They are said to have used the monies to buy items including electronics, lease vehicles and high-end watches, to the value of £945,936.

“The goods would then be delivered to virtual offices opened in the same fictitious details as the companies themselves. Once the goods were delivered, they were immediately removed and the suspects moved on,” the Police said.

The convicts also specifically targeted London-based private hire taxi company Addison Lee Group to make journeys which they failed to pay for. On uncovering this, Addison Lee Group were able to provide journey history and call recordings which showed the group’s whereabouts at given times and was a means of identifying the members.

“This case was initially reported to the City of London Police as a case of a fraudulent application for, and subsequent use of, American Express corporate cards. When the investigation into this criminality started, a wider criminal network was uncovered,” the Police said.

Sentences

Marcus Carter, who is serving a prison sentence at HMP Wandsworth for an unrelated matter, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to acquire criminal property. He was sentenced to seven years and two months in prison. He has also been disqualified from being a company director for 12 years.

Jeffrey Spencer was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to acquire criminal property and failing to disclose the PIN to his two mobile phones and was sentenced to nine years in prison. He has also been disqualified from being a company director for 12 years.

Frank Allan was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to acquire criminal property, possession of a false identity document with improper intention and failing to disclose the PIN to his mobile phone and was sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison. He has also been disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.

Yaa Abrefa, Abena Amankwa Frempong who are yet to receive their sentences were both found guilty of conspiracy to acquire criminal property, while Craig Apaw was found guilty of possession of criminal property.

credit: City of London Police